In a lifetime as an engineer, pilot and educator, Dr. Jack Sellers has taught people many important lessons. One of the most important ones, though, may be the one he learned through his family’s own experience.
|Dr. Jack Sellers' (here with his wife, Joannie) defeat of prostate cancer is one of the many happy endings you help make possible everyday.|
“My mother died of colon cancer, and my dad from lung cancer,” he explains.
"So I was very aware of my own cancer risk.
“That’s why I told my internist to check me out for all forms of cancer. It was just part of my regular medical routine.
“And so when my PSA levels suddenly shot up, I knew it was significant. The levels weren’t high by most standards, but they were high enough for me.”
PSA, or prostate-specific antigen, is a protein produced by cells in the prostate
gland. It’s present in all men, but when the levels of PSA in the blood rise, it can
be an early sign of problems. In Dr. Sellers’ case, that’s just what it turned out to be. Late last summer, he learned he had prostate cancer.
Putting Technology to Work for Life
Fortunately, Dr. Sellers had one more piece of family history to draw on — this
time with a happier ending. “My wife’s cousin in San Diego had been treated for prostate cancer by Dr. Kawachi at City of Hope and had a very positive experience,” he recalls. “So when I was diagnosed, City of Hope was my first thought.”
Mark Kawachi, M.D., director of City of Hope’s prostate cancer center, confirmed that Dr. Sellers was in the early stages of prostate cancer. Dr. Kawachi recommended a roboticassisted laparoscopic prostatectomy — surgical removal of the prostate using
the Da Vinci surgery robot.
City of Hope surgeons have been using the Da Vinci robot system since 2003. Since that time, they have performed more than 1,700 procedures. That’s more than any cancer center in the western United States!
The Pilot Checks Out Just Fine
In the hands of City of Hope’s skilled and experienced physicians, the Da Vinci robot is a minimally-invasive way of removing the prostate with minimal side effects or complications. “That’s how it was in my case,” Dr. Sellers says. “I was only in the hospital for three days, and experienced almost no pain.
“After the initial recovery period, there was no pain or discomfort at all. At my review 30 days after the operation, I checked out just fine, with no sign of cancer at all.
“My wife and I don’t worry about any recurrence of my cancer. We are jubilant!”
Your support of City of Hope has helped us become a national leader in the use of robotic technology and other minimally-invasive procedures to treat cancer. But technology is only a part of the “City of Hope Difference.” We are also able to provide compassionate, comprehensive patient care thanks to your kindness and generosity.
Thank you for doing so much to help end cancer!